• African football

Patrick Vieira won’t influence Nigerian starlet over international future

Credit: Evening Standard

Michael Oliseh is eligible to play for three different nations.

Michael Oliseh was Patrick Vieira’s first signing when he took charge at Crystal Palace last summer. The 20-year-old forward has gradually developed into a starter at Selhurst Park, scoring four goals in his 24 appearances for the club.

Born in London from an Algerian mother and a Nigerian father, Oliseh can play for England, Algeria, and Nigeria. However, his French boss says he will not try to influence him on deciding his international future.

“This is his decision he has to make as a player,” Viera said. “This is a family decision, he didn’t come time to ask me any advice.

“What is important as well for Michael is that his focus and concentration has to be on Crystal Palace and how to keep performing like he has been in the last couple of games.”

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The Super Eagles named Oliseh in their stand-by list for the Africa Cup of Nations. However, he is yet to make his first senior appearance for a national team.

According to English outlets, English manager Gareth Southgate has been monitoring Oliseh’s situation in recent weeks.

 Vieira added: “[Oliseh’s] work ethic is unbelievable. He has managed to earn the trust of his teammates.

“We love him and he is happy being with us. He is enjoying his football. Hopefully he will be with us for a long, long time.”

Oliseh started for Palace when they defeated Wolves 2-0 at the Molineux Stadium last week. The Eagles will now prepare to meet league leaders Manchester City on Monday.